It is common to think of dental issues as separate from health problems in the rest of your body, but they are very much related. Your mouth is part of your body, and there are systemic connections that go both ways between your mouth and your body as a whole. There are some oral symptoms that can indicate a problem elsewhere. Also, some oral problems may lead to physical issues which can affect your whole body.
Seeing Dr. Patel at least twice a year is not just to check for dental problems. Oral health checkups can also tell him a great deal about your overall health. Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 diseases have symptoms that show up in your mouth? This puts Dr. Patel in a unique position to alert you to conditions in your body before you have any other symptoms.
When you take care of your teeth at home, it is important to check for any changes in your mouth and report them to us right away. They could be indicators for an oral health problem or a problem somewhere else in your body. Do not be afraid to tell Dr. Patel about anything you notice that is out of the ordinary. Early detection and prompt treatment can save you from more complex procedures down the road, and may even save your life.
Here are some warning signs you should look for:
- Gum, tooth, or jaw pain
- Bleeding gums
- Loose or lost teeth
- Recurring bad breath
- Sores, irregular patches, or lumps anywhere in your mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms or anything else unusual, you need to see Dr. Patel right away. He can diagnose any dental problems or refer you to your physician if it points to another condition of concern.
Here are some examples of a relationship between oral health and other diseases:
- Fruity-smelling breath can be a sign of diabetes.
- Loose teeth or teeth that fall out can be the result of gum disease, but also could be a sign of advancing osteoporosis.
- Jaw pain can be a symptom of stress or even a common heart attack symptom.
- Gum disease can put you at risk of infection or complications, including heart problems and diabetes.
- Some physical conditions that can be related to something even as seemingly harmless as bad breath can include: sinus infection, lung infection, kidney or liver disease, and gastrointestinal problems.
It may be time to rethink the way you see dental care. It is a vital component to your overall health in many ways. Too often, some people think going to the dentist is optional or only necessary if something hurts. When you realize that Dr. Patel and our dental professionals are an important part of your health care team, you will be more likely to see checkups and good oral hygiene as a top priority.
At Panama City Smiles, we care about you as a whole person, and we are here to help you have excellent health in addition to a healthy and beautiful smile. Whether you are overdue for a checkup or have noticed something unusual, it is time to make an appointment with Dr. Patel. Use our online form, or call us at (850) 588-0185 today!